LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming's grand plan is to have a normal fall semester.

The first step toward that will begin May 8 -- coincidentally, the same day as the Cowboys' annual spring game inside War Memorial Stadium -- as masks will no longer be required outdoors on the Laramie campus.

The school also announced there will be requirements for distancing at events and gatherings with numbers of people held at no more than 50 percent of the facilities' capacity.

"Guidelines for social distancing and face coverings at the spring game will follow the guidelines that are in place for the University of Wyoming campus at the time of the game," according to a school press release on April 5.

UW officials will continue to assess those requirements and others -- informed by guidance from state and federal agencies -- on a weekly basis before and during the summer term, the release states.

Additionally, university employees who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to travel with no requirement for COVID-19 testing and can start moving back into their offices June 7 because of the widespread availability of vaccines and relatively low infection numbers, according to a UW press release.

 

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After July 1, students and employees can also forgo the once-per-week COVID-19 testing. Masks will still be mandatory in an indoor setting, except if you are alone in an office or personal space.

“While we’re not in a position to completely return to a pre-pandemic environment this summer, these changes will move us that much closer to where we plan to be when the fall semester starts on Aug. 23,” UW President Ed Seidel said. “We’re confident that, combined with widespread availability and acceptance of COVID vaccines, the continuation of some measures this summer will allow us to be back fully in person this fall with even fewer restrictions -- barring a dramatic, unexpected development such as an outbreak of some new dangerous COVID variant that is resistant to the new vaccines.”

As of Friday, close to 14,000 county residents -- including many UW employees and students -- had received at least the first dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine through the county’s vaccination program, a collaborative effort of Albany County Public Health, UW and Ivinson Memorial Hospital, per the release.

“Vaccinations truly are the key to putting the pandemic behind us. Shown to be safe and highly effective, they are a major triumph of science in the public service,” said Seidel, who received his second dose of the Moderna vaccine earlier this month. “As more and more of our students, faculty and staff are vaccinated, our ability to remove restrictions will increase, and our fully in-person fall semester will have a great chance of being the pre-pandemic type of experience we all remember and long for.”

While vaccinations are not required for UW students and employees, students and employees must report their vaccinations once they’ve received them -- to allow the university to track overall vaccination numbers.

To read the school's full release, click HERE.

* The University of Wyoming contributed to this report

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